Free shipping over $99 | Interest Free *no credit check* financing is available!

Michigan Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Lesbian Custody Case

by S Ralph July 27, 2011

By: Shannon Ralph

New Supreme Court news out of Michigan speaks to the very heart of why the fight for marriage equality is so immensely crucial for LGBT people. The Michigan Supreme court has refused to hear a custody case involving two lesbians. The court has indicated that there is no evidence that a review is necessary in the case of Renee Harmon and her former partner of nineteen years, Tammy Davis.

Harmon is seeking custody rights for the three children — 8-year-old twin boys and an 11-year-old girl— she raised with her former partner. Harmon and Davis planned the the children together, and David gave birth to the children through artificial insemination. Michigan adoption law does not explicitly say that same-sex couples cannot adopt, but many adoption judges have interpreted the law to say just that. Because she was unable to adopt the children she raised since birth, Harmon was never a legally-recognized parent under Michigan law.

Harmon began her legal fight in 2009. She was initially granted visitation rights when the couple split in 2008, but Davis then withdrew access. A lower court ruled that Harmon had the legal standing to pursue her custody case, but the Michigan Court of Appeals disagreed. Her legal team filed an appeal in October 2010 for the state Supreme Court to review the case. Since the appeal was filed, the make-up of the bench has flipped from majority Democrat to majority Republican. The court ruled 4-3, strictly along party lines, not to hear the case with scathing dissents written on the part of the Democrats on the bench. Harmon has not seen her children for two years.

These types of stories outrage me. Laws are supposed to protect our children. How can it possibly be in the best interest of those three children to be taken away from the parent they have known since they were born? Harmon and Davis were together for 19 years and decided to start a family together. Together. Had they been allowed to marry, there would be no question about the validity of Harmon’s parentage. Sadly, Harmon’s plight is not unique. It happens every single day. Gay parents are considered dispensable. Their rights to the children they bring into this world and love with all of their hearts are superfluous. If we are to be a nation that truly cares about the well-being of our children, we have to provide marriage equality to all. We must put all families on equal legal footing so that children can grow up secure in the knowledge that their parents will always be there for them. To do otherwise harms no one more than it does the truly innocent among us, our children.

The post Michigan Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Lesbian Custody Case appeared first on The Next Family.

S Ralph
S Ralph


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Parenting

Modern Fitness For the Modern Parent

by The Next Family March 25, 2016


Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian

By Laura King

Life can get busy. With work, kids, family commitments, friends, chores, and the general chaos of everyday life, it can be near impossible at times to sit down for a cup of tea, let alone squeeze in an hour of exercise regularly. However, all things are possible if you set your mind to them. Those that prioritize their fitness nearly...

Continue Reading →

Estate Planning: The Basics For LGBT Families

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

With the passage of marriage equality last year, laws have been quickly changing across the United States. LGBT couples with or without children weren’t just given the right of marriage, they were provided new protections and benefits within their families. All of a sudden, LGBT couples and families had to figure out how to file jointly when it came to taxes, how to add...

Continue Reading →

Representation of Modern Families in Kid-Friendly Entertainment

by The Next Family March 24, 2016 1 Comment


By Alex Temblador

I recently wrote an article for The Next Family called, “Family-Friendly Films That Feature Adoption and Foster Care,” that shared wonderful family films with adoption or foster care story lines. My reasoning behind doing so was because every family deserves a chance to see similar families like theirs represented in various forms of entertainment.

The same can be said of other...

Continue Reading →